I’m thrilled to announce that Fastaff Travel Nursing is honoring nurses during nurses week! I love that they are interested in collecting the best advice we’ve received so that they can share our words of wisdom with others.
The winner gets a $500 gift certificate to Southwest Airlines!!
How to enter: It’s easy. All you have to do is make a comment below (optional) and click here to enter your name, email address and submit your story.
Deadline is 5/15/15
Here is my story. I hope you enjoy:
As a new nurse, I worked on a cardiac step down unit and had been caring for an elderly women admitted with heart failure for several days. On an evening before my weekend off, she went into pulmonary edema and I had to call my first code.
Once we got her to the ICU, the receiving nurse asked me for report. I was so overcome with emotion that I couldn’t speak a word without crying. I kept looking at this woman who was telling me about her “famous” thumbprint cookies yesterday who was now intubated and unresponsive. I kept thinking that perhaps I had failed her. Did I miss something? Should I have noticed sooner that she was getting into trouble?
I felt so responsible and for the first time, felt the emotional pain all nurses experience when bad things happen to our patients.
Instead of the receiving ICU nurse being supportive and understanding, she glared at me and yelled, “Are you kidding? Get over it now and give me damn report! I don’t have time for your emotional breakdown.”
I felt as though she slapped me in the face. I composed myself, apologized profusely, gave report and then questioned my ability to be a nurse. Was I really cut out for this type of work?
When I got back to my unit, it was obvious that I had been crying and when some of my co-workers saw me, they rolled their eyes at me and chuckled.
Seeing this, a wise older nurse gently grabbed me by the arm and took me into an empty patient’s room.
She said, “Don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad about showing your emotions and for feeling empathy for your patients. Patients expect their nurses to be competent but what they want from us is our compassion.”
I dried my tears and walked back onto the unit with my head held high.
Throughout my 25 years as a nurse, I’ve cried for patients, prayed with them, laughed, celebrated their successes and mourned their loses. I’ve never apologized again for showing emotion. Wise words.
I would LOVE to read your comments about my story or yours.
Thanks for reading. Take care and stay connected